Cat & Kitten Vaccination Information
Cat vaccines protect your pet against Feline Leukaemia, Calicivirus, Feline Herpes and Feline Enteritis! A kitten has its first injection at 9 weeks and then a second 3 -4 weeks later. Then your cat will have an annual booster jab every 12 months to keep them protected for life.
We have noticed recently that people are neglecting to get their cats vaccinated and this is not only leading to higher numbers of the above diseases in their cats but also spreads disease to other unvaccinated cats. If everyone vaccinated their cats then not only would they be protecting their cat but it would help the cat population as a whole.
Information is not always easily accessible about vaccinations and we find many people are not even too sure what they protect against, so below we have included some vital information which we hope will help you make the choice to vaccinate your cats and let friends and family know too!!
All cats we rehome whether kitten or adult have their vaccinations before leaving us!!
The three viruses your cats are protected against with their annual vaccine are.................
Cat Flu (Feline Calicivirus and Herpes)
Cat flu is a very common and nasty viral disease which causes two main viruses in cats (feline calicivirus and herpes). It causes a nasty infection with nasal discharge, eye infections, sneezing, coughing, mouth and eye ulcers, weight loss, lethargy and fever. The virus can be spread by nasal & eye discharge, sneezing, contact with infected food bowls & bedding and even contact with humans after they have been with an infected cat. Cats who have been infected can also become carriers of the disease and still spread it to other cats even after their actual 'flu' symptoms have passed. A cat infected with cat flu (especially kittens) can suffer lasting damage to the eyes and even death. There are no specific treatments for either virus of cat flu except nursing the cat/kitten back to health with the supervision of a vet. It is recommended cats who have been infected are kept as indoor cats or only allowed out in a completely enclosed garden.
Feline Leukaemia (feLV)
Feline leukaemia is a very serious disease which can lead to a whole host of problems however the most important one is the fact it destroys your cats immune system which then leads him/her being open to all manner of infections and other diseases. feLV can also cause cancer, neurological problems, anaemia and infertility in cats. This disease is spread through close contact like the sharing of bowls and cat grooming each other. If a mother cat is infected her kittens will also carry the disease from birth. Cats who have the disease have a very poor prognosis for long term survival and generally only live 3 to 4 years after being diagnosed. Currently there is no real treatment for the disease except antiviral tablets which can be given, although they are not particularly effective. Infected cats can be kept however they would need to be an indoor cat with no contact with other cats.
Feline Enteritis (also knows as Feline Parvovirus)
This disease is HIGHLY contagious and can spread very quickly through cats (similar to the canine version) which means all unvaccinated cats are at risk of picking it up. In an adult cat the disease causes diarrhoea, vomiting, anorexia, dehydration and a drop in white blood cells in the body leading to increased chances of infections. It is most dangerous to kittens where it can cause death, blindness, abnormalities to develop and a condition called cerebella hypoplasia (affects the part of the brain involved in balance).
The above three diseases can be easily protected against by making sure your cats vaccinations are up to date. If you plan to go on holiday and put your cat in a cattery bear in mind you will need to have a vaccination certificate with proof of up to date vaccinations before you are allowed to leave them.
If you would like further advice on vaccinations please feel free to contact us via our contact page or give your vets a quick phone call.